Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

Health Supreme

News Blog

Site Map





Food for Thought


Human Potential






The Media

War Crimes


Articles Archive


See also:


Communication Agents:

INACTIVE  Ivan Ingrilli
  Chris Gupta
  Tom Atlee
INACTIVE  Emma Holister
  Rinaldo Lampis
  Steve Bosserman
  CA Journal


Robin Good's
Web sites:












The Individual - Human Ability:


Society - Politics:






September 09, 2003

Nanotech advancing at warp speed

Rachel's Environment and Health News has released the third part of its documentary on a technological revolution that is coming fast upon us. I find it fascinating how little we actually know of the very programs that are being financed with big bucks and that will determine our future to a handsomely large degree. Maybe we should find out more...

And while we're at it, I read that "the National Nanotech Initiative is now funded at the level of $700 million per year -- the third largest public research program in the U.S., after the war on cancer and the star wars missile defense program."

Wonder where all those cancer funds are ending up. Certainly we don't get a cancer cure for them either.


A revolution is sweeping through science and technology, blending cognitive science (how the brain works), biotechnology (manipulation of genes), information technology, and nanotechnology, or nanotech for short. The engineers who are masterminding this revolution explain that it is "essential to the future of humanity"[1, pg. 22] because it holds the promise of "world peace, universal prosperity, and evolution to a higher level of compassion and accomplishment."[1, pg. 6] They say it may be "a watershed in history to rank with the invention of agriculture and the Industrial Revolution."[1, pg. 20] The ultimate aim of the revolution is not so new: the "conquest of nature." [1, pg. 80]

The revolution is driven by the convergence of four technologies (nano, bio, info, cogno), but here we focus again on only one of the four -- nanotech -- because it is becoming the foundation stone of bio and info sciences,[1, pg. 71] because it has been largely ignored by the media, and because it is galloping forward at breakneck speed. It is no exaggeration to say that the field of nanotech is gripped by a "gold rush" mentality. Any day of the week, take a look at to catch a glimpse of the gold rush in action.

Nanotech is named for the nanometer, a unit of measure, a billionth of a meter, one one-thousandth of a micrometer. The Oxford English Dictionary defines nanotechnology as "the branch of technology that deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometres, esp. the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules."

In 2000, President Clinton created the National Nanotech Initiative, which is now funded at the level of $700 million per year -- the third largest public research program in the U.S., after the war on cancer and the star wars missile defense program. (See Rachel's #772 and #773.) In every state in the U.S., nanotech proponents are commandeering tax dollars to subsidize "the next big thing." Many states are hoping to establish their own "Nano Valley" as an entrepreneurial wild west modeled on Silicon Valley before the bubble burst.

In March of this year, Small Times magazine said the states with the greatest nanotech potential are California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania, with Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington state close behind.[2] The National Science Foundation predicts that nanotech will be a trillion-dollar industry by 2015, just 12 years from now.[2] Nanotech is advancing upon us at warp speed.

This week we will focus on only one aspect of nanotech: the environmental and human health effects of nano particles, which are particles 100 nanometers (0.1 micrometers) or less in diameter. As we saw in Rachel's #772, the intentional manufacture of nano particles is already under way, and this new industry is gearing up worldwide. Nano particles go by different names, such as nanodots, nanotubes, buckyballs, and buckminsterfullerenes, among others.

According to the Etc Group, which follows nanotech developments carefully, an estimated 140 companies are now producing nano particles in powders, sprays, and coatings that are being used in a variety of products, including sunscreens, automobile parts, tennis rackets, scratch-proof eye glasses, stain-repellent fabrics, self-cleaning windows, and more.[3, pg. 2] Mitsubishi Chemical in Japan has reportedly begun construction of a plant to manufacture nanotubes at the rate of 120 tons per year, with plans to increase output to 1500 tons per year by 2007.[4] The U.S. government's space agency, NASA, plans to spend the next five years scaling up the production of nanotubes. [1, pg. 50]

One of the most important characteristics of nano particles is their huge surface-to-volume ratio. The smaller something is, the larger its surface area is, in comparison to its volume. Because nano particles are so small, they have an enormous surface area, relative to their volume. Drug companies are planning to take advantage of those large surfaces -- for example, covering nano particles with drugs for targeted delivery into the interiors of our cells. The smaller the size of the particle, the larger the load of drugs it can carry (larger, relative to the particle's volume).

Unfortunately, the large surface area of tiny particles also makes them dangerous for at least two reasons: first, the large surfaces alone promote the reaction of oxygen with human (or animal) tissue, creating free radicals.

"Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane [the cell's outer casing]. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs," explains Dr. Mark Jenkins at Rice University.[5]

In sum, the large surface of nano particles offers an ideal place which oxygen reactions can occur in the airways and lungs, resulting in the formation of free radicals with subsequent cell damage or cell death, followed by inflammation.

The second danger from nano particles arises when they float freely in the air, where their large surface area provides a sticky place where metals and hydrocarbons attach themselves. The smaller the size of the particle, the larger the load of metals and hydrocarbons it can carry (larger, relative to the particle's volume).

What do we know about health effects of nano particles?

It turns out that we already have a fair amount of data on the dangers of airborne nano particles -- but researchers don't call them nano particles. They call them ultrafines. Nano particles and ultrafines are the same thing -- particles with an average diameter of 100 nanometers (0.1 micrometers) or less.

Scientists have known for more than a decade that fine and ultrafine particles in the air create haze and kill large numbers of humans. Fines and ultrafines are produced by fossil-fuel power plants, incinerators, cement kilns, and diesel engines, among other sources. As early as 1991, Dr. Joel Schwartz of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (now at Harvard) estimated that fine particles were killing 60,000 people each year in the U.S. That shocking estimate has since been confirmed and reconfirmed and is now widely accepted.[6] Fine particles are defined as those with a diameter of 10,000 nanometers (10 micrometers) or less. Ultrafines are 100 times smaller than fines.[6]

Today, researchers are examining the properties of ultrafines and there seems to be little doubt that they are the major killers in haze. Studies in Los Angeles, California reveal that ultrafines are 10 to 50 times as damaging to lung tissue, compared to larger fine particles.[7]

Since 1991, scientists have been wondering whether fine and ultrafine particles cause harm because of their size alone, or because they carry metals and hydrocarbons deep into the lung. Researchers today believe that, in the case of ultrafines, the answer is both.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency refers to fines as PM 10 (short for "particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter"). By 1996, EPA became convinced that PM 2.5 (particles with diameters of 2.5 micrometers [2500 nanometers] or less) were far more dangerous than PM 10, and the agency proposed rules to control PM 2.5 air pollution. Corporations immediately sued in court to "get government off our backs" and to fulfill their fiduciary duty to shareholders by every legal means, even though that duty in this instance entails killing tens of thousands of anonymous citizens each year. In 2001, after a 5-year court battle, EPA won in the U.S. Supreme Court, but the agency, chastened by corporate encounters, has shelved its plan for controlling PM 2.5 air pollution.[8]

Meanwhile, new studies are piling up showing that nano particles (ultrafines, which in EPA terminology would be PM 0.1) are by far the most dangerous of all.

EPA does not collect data on nano particles in any systematic way, and has announced no plans to control them. Meanwhile the nano particle corporations and NASA are ramping up industrial operations to manufacture ultrafines in ton quantities. It appears that the stage is being set for major new trouble and an escalation of the killing.

The picture continues to develop, but current research shows that nano particles in the lung cause the formation of free radicals, which in turn, cause lung disease, and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, nano particles carry metals and carcinogenic hydrocarbons deep into the lung, where they exacerbate asthma and other serious breathing problems. In addition, nano particles combined with metals can pass directly into the brain where they promote the formation of waxy amyloid plaques, which are the signature feature of Alzheimer's disease.

In Fresno, Calif., Kent E. Pinkerton at Univ. of Calif. Davis found from autopsies that "outwardly robust people routinely harbor damage in their lungs' small airways, setting the stage for respiratory and cardiovascular disease." The bronchioles were scarred with fibrosis and an abnormal thickening, apparently caused by "the ravages of free radicals." [6,9]

Subsequent exposure of rats to ultrafine particles at levels found in Fresno on a bad day revealed many dead cells in the rats' lungs, large numbers of inflammatory cells (neutrophils), and destruction of macrophages -- which are cells that promote health by actively removing foreign material from the lungs.[10] In other words, ultrafines kill off the lung's natural defenses, then create their own unique form of damage, promoting free radicals, cell death, inflammation and eventually cardiovascular disease.

Pinkerton's findings were confirmed by a study of the lungs of non-smoking women in Mexico City and in Vancouver, British Columbia, which revealed extensive lung damage from exposure to dirty Mexico City air, but not clean Vancouver air. [4] The small airways of the Mexican women "were very abnormal," with fibrosis and thickening.

Researcher Ken Donaldson at the University of Edinborough in Scotland has studied particles of pure titanium dioxide and pure carbon. At 10 micrometers diameter, they cause no damage to rat lungs. But when they are crushed into ultrafines "they become highly inflammogenic to the lungs," he told Science News.[6, 12, 13] In other words, carbon nano particles, without any pollutants attached (no metals, no hydrocarbons), cause lung damage by themselves. Their size alone is harmful.

Donaldson conducted similar experiments on ultrafine particles of pure styrene, with similar results, showing that nano size alone is a danger. This clearly indicates that the manufacture of nano particles will be a threat to workers, and any particles released into outside air will be a public health menace. It is worth pointing out the obvious: The smaller particles become, the harder they are to control and contain.

Nano particles floating in the air will not remain pure for long. Metals and hydrocarbons (from combustion sources like incinerators, cement kilns, fossil-fuel power plants, and diesel engines) will quickly coat their large surfaces.

It is now known that the deadly effects of fine and ultrafine particles aren't restricted to the lung, but occur in the cardiovascular system and brain. Renaud Vincent and colleagues at Health Canada (the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. National Institutes of Health) clarified the mechanism of cardiovascular damage by exposing healthy volunteers to high levels of fine particles -- the levels you might find in a city with dirty air.[14, 15, 6]

Vincent found that exposure to ultrafine particles doubles the concentration of a small protein (called endothelin) in the blood stream. Endothelin increases blood pressure. The spike in endothelin levels can be tolerated by a healthy subject, but may kill a person who is already suffering from atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).[6]

Importantly, the spike in endothelin concentration only occurs when subjects are exposed to fine and ultrafine particles that have metals or hydrocarbons attached to them. If the particles are purified before the humans are exposed to them, they have no effect on endothelin levels. Thus it seems to be the combination of ultrafine particles and metals and/or hydrocarbons that increases endothelin.

Other researchers have also been examining the effects of fine and ultrafine particles on cardiovascular health. Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health exposed dogs to fine and ultrafine particles, then simulated heart attacks in the dogs by using a surgically-implanted balloon to temporarily shut off a coronary artery. Dogs that had been breathing ultrafines could not compensate for the blocked artery -- which may help explain why humans who have heart attacks on a bad-air day are more likely to die than people having heart attacks where the air is cleaner.[16]

Cardiovascular disease and heart attacks are not the only concern arising from exposure to fine and ultrafine particles in the air. A University of North Carolina research team working with dogs living in Mexico City has shown that exposure to ultrafine air pollution causes brain damage. Lilian Calderon-Garcideunas found that ultrafine particles carry metals such as vanadium and nickel into the dogs' brains through their noses. The fine particles break down the barriers that normally prevent contaminants passing into the brain.[6, 17]

Dogs are often used as models for the study of cognitive impairments that accompany old age in humans. Some dogs aged 10 and over develop the waxy plaques that are characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. Calderon-Garcideunas's study of 200 dogs in Mexico City reveals that the animals breathing ultrafine particles develop waxy beta-amyloid plaques in the brain before they are a year old.[6, 17]

Calderon-Garcideunas told science writer Janet Raloff that her findings are "definitely worrisome" because she has examined the noses of humans in Mexico City and found evidence of a breakdown of nasal tissue, similar to that found in dogs.[6]

U.S. EPA researchers and colleagues in Germany have found that metals attached to fine and ultrafine particles greatly exacerbate asthma. First they examined children in a German city where the air is contaminated with fine and ultrafine particles mixed with metals. Compared to children living in a rural German town where the air is relatively clean, the urban children showed strongly allergic reactions. The researchers then exposed mice to the two kinds of air that the children were breathing. They reported that mice exposed to metal-contaminated ultrafine particles developed strong allergic and asthmatic reactions in their airways.[18]

Using isolated lung cells, researchers found that ultrafine particles from Los Angeles air (a) carry far more toxic combustion byproducts per unit weight than do larger particles (no surprise because of surface-to-volume ratio); and (b) enter cells and settle in the mitochondria, which are the cells' source of power. Ultrafine particles turn the mitochondria into "functionless bags," researcher Andre Nel told Science News, killing the cells they were powering.[7, 6]

In sum the nanotech industry and the U.S. government are rapidly ramping up a new industrial capacity to manufacture ton quantities of ultrafine particles, very similar to particles already known to be killing tens of thousands of people in the U.S. each year. The complete catalog of harm from these particles remains to be written, but we already know that they cause or aggravate asthma and cardiovascular disease, damage the small airways of animals, adults, and children, carry metals and cancer-causing combustion byproducts deep into the lungs and even into the brain where they promote the growth of amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease.

We also know that the current regulatory system has proven to be incapable of bringing particulate pollution under control because of relentless opposition from corporations. As a matter of law, corporations are required to put profits before public health, so we can never expect them to do any better than they are doing today, until we change the law.[19]

Clearly, in the case of nano particles, we have reasonable suspicion of harm, and we have some remaining scientific uncertainty. Therefore we have an ethical duty to take preventive (precautionary) action. If there ever was a proper time to invoke the precautionary principle, this is it.[20]


[1] Mihail C. Roco and William Sims Bainbridge, editors, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance (Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation, June, 2002.

[2] Anonymous, "Small Times Magazine Names Top 10 Small Tech Hot Spots," Small Times March 12, 2003.

[3] "The Little BANG Theory," ETC Group Communique #78 (March/April 2003). Available on the web at .

[4] Jayne Fried, "Japan Sees Nanotech as Key to Rebuilding Its Economy," Small Times Jan. 7, 2002, pgs. unknown.

[5] Mark Jenkins, "Antioxidants and Free Radicals," 1996, available at

[6] Janet Raloff, "Air Sickness", Science News Vol. 164, No. 5 (August 2, 2003).

[7] Ning Li and other, "Ultrafine Particulate Pollutants Induce Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Damage," Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 111, No. 4 (April 2003), pgs. 455-460.

[8] Janet Raloff, "High court gives EPA a victory," Science News Vol. 159, No. 10 (March 10, 2001), pg. 159.

[9] Kent E. Pinkerton and others, "Distribution of Particulate Matter and Tissue Remodeling in the Human Lung," Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 108, No. 11 (November, 2000), pgs. 1063-1069.

[10] Kevin R. Smith, "Airborne Particles of the California Central Valley Alter the Lungs of Healthy Adult Rats," Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 111, No. 7 (June 2003), pgs. 902-908.

[11] Andrew Churg and others, "Chronic Exposure to High Levels of Particulate Air Pollution and Small Airway Remodeling," Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 111, No. 5 (May 2003), pgs. 714-718.

[12] L.C. Renwick and others, "Impairment of Alveolar Macrophage Phagocytosis by Ultrafine Particles," Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology Vol. 172 (2001), pgs. 119-127.

[13] D.M. Brown and others, "Size-Dependent Proinflammatory Effects of Ultrafine Polystyrene Particles: A Role for Surface Area and Oxidative Stress in the Enhanced Activity of the Ultrafines," Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology Vol. 175 (2001), pgs. 191-199.

[14] Robert D. Brook and others, "Inhalation of Fine Particulate Air Pollution and Ozone Causes Acute Arterial Vasoconstriction in Healthy Adults," Circulation Vol. 105 (2002), pgs. 1534-1536.

[15] Leo Bouthillier and others, "Acute Effects of Inhaled Urban Particles and Ozone; Lung Morphology, Macrophage Activity, and Plasma Endothelin-1," American Journal of Pathology Vol. 153, No. 6 (Dec. 1998), pgs. 1873-1884.

[16] Gregory A. Wellenius and others, "Inhalation of Concentrated Ambient Air Particles Exacerbates Myocardial Ischemia in Conscious Dogs," Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 111, No. 4 (April 2003), pgs. 402-408.

[17] Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas and others, "Air Pollution and Brain Damage," Toxicologic Pathology Vol. 30, No. 3 (2002), pgs. 373-389.

[18] Stephen H. Gavett and others, "Metal Composition of Ambient PM 2.5 Influences Severity of Allergic Airways Disease in Mice," Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 111, No. 12 (September 2003), pgs. 1471-1477.

[19] Robert Hinkley, "Twenty Eight Words to Redefine Corporate Duties," Multinational Monitor Vol. 23, Nos. 7 and 8 (July/August 2002). And be sure to see The Model Uniform Code for Corporate Citizenship.

[20] On the precautionary principle, see

---July 24, 2003---
(Published September 4, 2003)
Environmental Research Foundation
P.O. Box 160, New Brunswick, N.J. 08903
Fax (732) 791-4603; E-mail:

Update November 2003:

A comment on the article in Rachel's which I received from a friend involved in and knowledgeable about Nano technologies

First to point to some inaccuracies.

>Nano particles go by different names, such as nanodots, nanotubes, buckyballs, and buckminsterfullerenes, among others.

Nanodots is not a term used by anyone in nanoscience or nanotech. Probable confusion with quantum dots, which are a specific type of nanoparticle. Nanotubes, buckyballs and buckminsterfullerene (which is the same as a buckyball) are not nanoparticles, though buckyballs could be looked at in the same way.

> The smaller the size of the particle, the larger the load of drugs it can carry (larger, relative to the particle's volume).

Generally incorrect.

> Unfortunately, the large surface area of tiny particles also makes them dangerous for at least two reasons: first, the large surfaces alone promote the reaction of oxygen with human (or animal) tissue, creating free radicals.

Incorrect. For example, cerium oxide nanoparticles mop up free radicals (they are a powerful antioxidant) and have been shown to prolong the life of mouse nerve cells in culture by up to six times precisely because of this.

> The second danger from nano particles arises when they float freely in the air, where their large surface area provides a sticky place where metals and hydrocarbons attach themselves.

Not a general rule, thus incorrect.

> Scientists have known for more than a decade that fine and ultrafine particles in the air create haze and kill large numbers of humans.

Incorrect. The damage caused by particles of different sizes, whether nano or larger, is still an area of extreme uncertainty, especially with the nanoparticles. The concern here should be what we don't know. The figures quote for deaths from particulates are actually generally attributed to much larger particles. Misleading at best, disinformation at worst.

> Meanwhile, new studies are piling up showing that nano particles (ultrafines, which in EPA terminology would be PM 0.1) are by far the most dangerous of all.

Incorrect. I repeat - we do not know much about the effect of such particles. Little research has been done. This is the real issue that needs addressing. It is being addressed. I will be talking to the Royal Society on this and other subjects at the end of September - they have set up a project to investigate, and we are also setting one up. The question is whether we should be doing more and faster and whether we should have done it a lot earlier. My answer is yes to all these but it has to be stated that there are perfectly innocent reasons why we have been so tardy - it is not necessary to presume attempts to block such work. I know of none relating to nanoparticles.

It should not be forgotten, incidentally, that nature exposes us to nanoparticles all the time. This argues that we should look at each type of nanoparticle separately and that blanket statements about them are pointless.

> Renaud Vincent and colleagues at Health Canada (the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. National Institutes of Health) clarified the mechanism of cardiovascular damage by exposing healthy volunteers to high levels of fine particles -- the levels you might find in a city with dirty air.[14, 15, 6]

My recollection is that industrial pollution or pollution from cars contains very small amounts of nanoparticles. The writer continues to conflate the effects of larger particles with nanoparticles. Not helpful.

To summarise, most of what we know about the dangers of particulates relates to particles considerably bigger than nanoparticles. There is some evidence that nanoparticles may present unique dangers. This is certainly cause for concern and reason for urgently investigating further. There are also reasons to believe that certain nanoparticles are *unlikely* to be damaging, but we don't really know and caution should be advised.

On the production of large quantities, there is an important issue that should not be missed. Most of these nanoparticles are not going to be released into the wild as particles but will be tied up in composites or fused into nanocrystalline materials. Escape of nanoparticles from such materials will generally be extremely low or nil. There is good reason to believe that any ill effects will be dose related, thus the majority of uses of the bulk of nanoparticles being produced can reasonably be considered low risk. Research is, of course, needed, but extreme concern would appear unwarranted. The issue of workers in nanoparticle factories is another matter, however, and should be looked at, in my opinion, with some urgency. However, what I have heard so far suggests that appropriate precautions are being taken. There is lots of experience in this area - we have been producing carbon nanoparticles by the ton (carbon black for car tyres) for many decades.

Another major area where nanoparticles are being applied is in medical treatment. In these cases the amounts are very small and medical monitoring is going on. This also suggests that extreme concern is not warranted in such cases, but caution is not out of place.

I have spoken to a key figure in one environmental group who happily accepts these qualifications. Incidentally, he considers the whole issue of nanoparticles to be rather minor compared to other environmental and health issues. I think he's right.

There are, however, some cases where nanoparticles are being brought into contact with the human body in reasonable quantities. This is the area of greatest concern for me, albeit less concern than I have for many other man-made substances in our environment. It is also the area where new studies are going to be looking most closely. If concerned individuals focused on these areas rather than demonising all things nanoparticulate then we would all be moving along the path of minimising any risks that may be out there.



See also:

Nanotechnology and the Enclosure of the Chemical Elements
So, if you go down in size, if you get small enough, you don' t even know, that the nanoparticle is there. You put it on your skin (suncream), they can sink into your skin and evolve through your body and companies cannot even measure the size, actually. There is no international standard yet for how to measure the size. There is three different ways you can do it….

The governments start to think about how to regulate this. In South Africa next year, there will be a meeting of major governments trying to make some progress on nanotech-regulation. We have been told by the US- government, that they think, that they will need till 2017 before coming to a global agreement on basic standards. But in 2015 there will be plenty of things on the market…


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Tuesday September 9 2003
updated on Wednesday December 15 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

A Citizens' Consensus Conference on Nanotechnology in Wisconsin
National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation convenor Sandy Heierbacher just sent me a notice about the Initiative on Nanotechnology and Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which conducted a citizens' consensus conference on Nanotechnology during April and has just posted a report with citizen recommendations. I think of citizens' consensus conferences as one of the most sophisticated forms of citizen deliberation. They are an official function of Parliament in... [read more]
May 04, 2005 - Tom Atlee

Nanotubes, Nanoshells, what are the consequences?
Carbon nanotubes and metal nanoshells Nanotechnology, and particularly the manufacture of nanoparticles in custom forms are charging ahead with a vengeance but, says Dr. Mae-Wan Ho of the Institute of Science in Society, our understanding of possible adverse health and environmental effects is not keeping pace. Carbon nanotubes are manufactured in great quantities and are expected to be used in quantities of hundreds of thousands of tons within the next... [read more]
November 29, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

'Green Gasoline' Benzene Leukemia Risk In Children Confirmed
A recent French study reports that children living within reach of either a gas station or a car repair shop have a fourfold risk of developing leukemia. The study confirms the warnings given by German heart specialist Hans Nieper who investigated the health effects of two substances employed in the automotive industry since the 1980s. In fact when lead was shown to be toxic, it was eliminated from gasoline and... [read more]
August 19, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Children, cell phones and psychiatry
Now what does a psychiatrist have to do with cell phones, you may ask. Psychiatrists are the "experts" in mental health - our mental health. So they recognize when you're delusional if you should start to complain about symptoms from radiation overdosing, for example from your cell phone. Here is an exchange of messages forwarded by Jennie Gorman, about this matter. It illustrates the connection and leads us right back... [read more]
September 02, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Original blueprints for 200 mpg carburetor found in England
Rather than a future technology, high mileage carburetors are inventions of the past, but unfortunately they did never make it to market. I wonder why. Now one of them may come back to haunt the oil interests - a bit late, but nevertheless. An article published in Times Online on 19 April 2003 relates the story of how plans for the carburetor designed by Canadian inventor Charles Nelson Pogue in... [read more]
June 07, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger




Readers' Comments

Here is a link to an article that discusses a rational approach to the problems of Nanotech. Ray Kurzweil writes in CIO.

Posted by: Josef Hasslberger on October 1, 2003 07:22 PM


I have a background in ecology and behavioural science, and produce CKCU-FM's science and technology show, (radio and webcast) I have never heard the term nanodots used, except here. Ultrafine,. nano-sized particulate matter in air pollution however is something to keep an eye on!

You might want to check out some research from a team of Canadian scientists; here are a few links: (link no longer valid - Sepp)

Basically exposure to air pollution has been shown to cause DNA mutations in sperm (in mice) and now the scientists, Christopher Somers, James Quinn and their collegues, have found that the mutations can be passed on PLUS they have fingered the culprit - microscopic particulate matter - soot from diesel and coal combustion, diesel engines, manufacturing and power plants. You get the idea.
The ultrafine particles are measured in mere nanometres.
It isn't clear if it's the nanoparticles themselves... or soemthing stuck to them that is the problem; if it is something stuck to them then the nanoparticles will have proven to be a vector for whatever is causing the sperm mutations. But no one knows quite yet - they just know that HEPA filters help filter out the PAH(soot) particulates from
the air and that PAH (soot) exposure is linked with inheritable mutations trhough the paternal line.

Also: Eva Oberdorster, an ecotoxicologist with Southern Methodist University has found that fish developed severe brain damage when exposed for 48 hours to water in which uncoated buckyballs, were dissolved at a concentration of half a part per million.
:-( Buckyballs are nanosized hexagonal spheres of carbon. They are a type of nanosized molecule. So in general, nanomolecules released into aquatic environments would be a bad idea for fish.

Nanocrystalline powdered titanium dioxide is being used in sunscreen. I couldn't find any safety data at all - this stuff is very new and the studies on what's safe and what's not are just starting to come out. But it is cause for concern - what if it's as bad for fish as the buckyballs in Dr. Oberdorester's research?

We will be covering this research in our show this Monday, May 17, 2004. The broadcast/webcast is from 6-6:30, Eastern Daylight Time, if anyone wants to tune in.

I have more links to some toxicology sites on nano sized molecules but this is long enough!

Posted by: Dianne Murray on May 15, 2004 11:28 PM


putting effectively untested nanoparticles into consumer products is just asking for problems. we need to keep any potentially harmful nanoparticles out of the environment and food chain. lets not screw up the one thing that has the greatest potential for good in the world!

Posted by: Steve Young on December 22, 2010 02:48 PM


Security code:

Please enter the security code displayed on the above grid

Due to our anti-spamming policy the comments you are posting will show up online within few hours from the posting time.



The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz



Most Popular Articles
Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

Lipitor - The Human Cost

Fluoride Accumulates in Pineal Gland

Original blueprints for 200 mpg carburetor found in England

Medical system is leading cause of death and injury in US

Aspartame and Multiple Sclerosis - Neurosurgeon's Warning

'Bird Flu', SARS - Biowarfare or a Pandemic of Propaganda?



More recent articles
Chromotherapy in Cancer

Inclined Bed Therapy: Tilt your bed for healthful sleep

European Food Safety Authority cherry picks evidence - finds Aspartame completely safe

Did Aspartame kill Cory Terry?

Retroviral particles in human immune defenses - is AIDS orthodoxy dead wrong?

Vaccine damage in Great Britain: The consequences of Dr Wakefield’s trials

Archive of all articles on this site



Most recent comments
Uganda: Pfizer Sponsored AIDS Institute Snubs Natural Treatment Options

Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

AIDS: 'No Gold Standard' For HIV Testing

Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy

'Global Business Coalition' Wants More Testing: But Tests Do Not Show AIDS



Candida International

What Does MHRA Stand For??

Bono and Bush Party without Koch: AIDS Industry Makes a Mockery of Medical Science

Profit as Usual and to Hell with the Risks: Media Urge that Young Girls Receive Mandatory Cervical Cancer Vaccine


Share The Wealth

Artificial Water Fluoridation: Off To A Poor Start / Fluoride Injures The Newborn

Drinking Water Fluoridation is Genotoxic & Teratogenic

Democracy At Work? - PPM On Fluoride

"Evidence Be Damned...Patient Outcome Is Irrelevant" - From Helke

Why Remove Fluoride From Phosphate Rock To Make Fertilizer


Evolving Collective Intelligence

Let Us Please Frame Collective Intelligence As Big As It Is

Reflections on the evolution of choice and collective intelligence

Whole System Learning and Evolution -- and the New Journalism

Gathering storms of unwanted change

Protect Sources or Not? - More Complex than It Seems



Islanda, quando il popolo sconfigge l'economia globale.

Il Giorno Fuori dal Tempo, Il significato energetico del 25 luglio

Rinaldo Lampis: L'uso Cosciente delle Energie

Attivazione nei Colli Euganei (PD) della Piramide di Luce

Contatti con gli Abitanti Invisibili della Natura


Diary of a Knowledge Broker

Giving It Away, Making Money

Greenhouses That Change the World

Cycles of Communication and Collaboration

What Is an "Integrated Solution"?

Thoughts about Value-Add




Best sellers from